When it comes to maximizing the return on investment (ROI) of your event, there are many strategies a director can employ to get the most out of their production, whether it’s a business conference, trade show, product exposition or something else entirely. These strategies are sure to make your job easier when answering to the various stakeholders during the post-event review and well into the future.
From engaging your audience with virtual platforms to upgrading your approach to lead capture and so much more, let’s take a look at 10 surefire ways to increase your event ROI.
Keep attendees excited about the upcoming event by consistently sending email updates and making social media posts. Engaging attendees shouldn’t be a one-and-done activity, it should be a weekly or bi-weekly engagement after they’re officially registered. During the week of the event, increase these touches to every one or two days, without being invasive. The content of these touches can be related to speaker introduction, testimonials or relevant webinars and podcasts around event topics, for example.
If you don’t have the right expertise for the job, a third-party injection of support will help take much of the technical burden off of you and your staff. Production teams come in all shapes and sizes, specializing in many specific areas, whether it’s audio-visual services, LED display integration, content management, special effects, virtual streaming and everything else under the event umbrella. When considering a partner, it’s important to narrow down the list to those companies that offer specific expertise in the area you need. For instance, a client that is hosting a corporate presentation will have drastically different needs compared to a client that is putting on a live theatre production.
Harness the power of those who have already registered by encouraging them to bring their own connections into the mix. Since they’ve already shown interest, other professionals in their network may share similar interests. Supply some of your top brand ambassadors, or those that are first to sign up, with a special code that they can pass to their colleagues when purchasing tickets. Offer a financial incentive or free products and swag to those who successfully get a certain number of new attendees to sign up.
Hybrid events, where you deliver both in-person and virtual experiences, are becoming the norm nowadays. And, with the right hybrid event platform, it makes it easy to engage an online audience through streaming video, live chat, virtual break-out rooms and other exciting technologies. Plus, it expands your reach immensely – putting the event online gives you a global reach, allowing people to attend when they couldn’t before due to travel restrictions or scheduling conflicts. From cutting costs with a smaller venue to lowering travel fees for speakers to reducing the need for guest accommodations, you can shrink your budget and maximize the return on your investment. Plus, a survey with New York Magazine showed that 67 percent of people who watch a live streamed event are more likely to buy tickets to attend the event the next time around, giving you an incentive for the future.
Developing your own digital platform gives your team full access to attendee data that leads to actionable ways to increase ROI in real time. For example, app features like live polling or feedback submission allow you to judge the quality of event affairs as they happen. Include a social element that will help you network with individuals in attendance, allowing you to put them in your qualified pipeline quickly. Lastly, give them a way to schedule what they’ll see and experience on event day to help drive attendance at various speaking engagements, discussions, performances and so on.
While your event could last for days, there’s always one or two main attractions that normally get people in the door. This could be a guest keynote speaker, special musical performance, celebrity appearance or grand-prize cash drawing. Make sure to vet your choice carefully as it pertains to the demographic of your event attendees.
In addition to live streaming, consider recording the event, or at the least some important speakers. You can turn it into gated content on your website in order to capture new leads from people who may not be able to attend on the day of the event or those that stumble upon your content down the road. You can also chop up certain audio or video segments to gather digestible posts for social media.
Like you, the event host, sponsors also want to maximize their ROI when spending big bucks on sponsorship fees. As such, encourage all tiers of sponsors to share and promote your event through their social media, newsletters, email campaigns and other marketing assets. They likely have a wide reach for their own unique target markets that you simply don’t have access to.
Well before curtain call, you should develop a variety of lead-generation email templates so that your sales team can get to work sending follow-ups immediately after the event. After all, the quicker you can reinforce a connection, the better chance you have at cultivating a relationship with various leads. Sales reps can personalize them as necessary, but the templates will get most of the necessary info ready to go for a quick and easy follow up. Additionally, come up with a series of talking points that lets them promptly respond to questions, requests, critiques or other general feedback.
With all of the new data, feedback and insights you’ve acquired through your various event marketing efforts, make sure to discuss findings with your team so you are better equipped to make improvements for your next event. With a post-event report, summarize key information as it pertains to your upfront goals by digging into engagement metrics. According to Marketing Charts, leads generated and pipeline opportunities are the most highly sought-after event metrics to measure success, however there are many other items you may want to include in your report:
Attendance compared to registration numbers
Revenue compared to expenses
Number of scheduled appointments
Number of new social media followers
Survey / poll / messaging insights
Turn to the event engagement experts at Second Stage, the world’s leading hybrid event platform and provider. We’ll help you maximize ROI while providing your audience with an unforgettable experience. You’ll receive such beneficial features like live streams, recording capabilities, one-on-one session chats, a full lead-generating toolbox and so much more, all in one package. Create a memorable hybrid event experience that doesn’t sacrifice human connection – contact us today to learn more about our solutions or speak with a representative.